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For Online Video, Work Time Is Still Primetime

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Despite the growing number of people who watch online video in the primetime hours of 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., for the most part online-video viewing continues to be a work-time distraction, according to new data from TubeMogul and Brightcove. That’s especially true in the waning hours of the workday, as more video is streamed online from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. than at any other time.

The research looked at a sample of more than 600 million video streams from a variety of broadcaster, magazine, music label and newspaper clients that distribute their videos through Brightcove’s video management platform and localized their time to determine peak times for viewing. What it found was that nearly 6 percent of all video views occurred from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. — just as the day starts to wind down. But viewing across nearly all verticals held steady from about 2 p.m. to midnight.

That said, different verticals peaked at different times. Not surprisingly, people tend to watch online broadcast content during the same hours that they’d watch that programming on the TV. Viewership of broadcast videos online peak between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., but nearly 30 percent of all views of TV programming online happen between 7 p.m. and midnight.

Meanwhile, videos watched on newspaper and magazine sites tend to peak between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. According to Tubemogul, 54.6 percent of all magazine video views happen between 9 p.m. and 5 p.m., while 46.3 percent of all newspaper videos are watched during the workday.

Of course, as more viewers tune in to watch broadcast episodes online, we expect to see more of a shift to primetime viewing. In the meantime, however, TubeMogul communications director David Burch writes in an email that if “video advertisers want to reach people at work, in-stream ads on news outlets appear to be the best way” to do so.

Photo courtesy of (CC-BY-SA) Flickr user tnarik.

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7 Responses to “For Online Video, Work Time Is Still Primetime”

  1. A study of the number of minutes of online video consumed per day part would be an excellent resource. While the strong growth in online video usage and average duration of online videos is exciting, in order to continue developing engaging online video platforms, we need to know at which points of the day consumers are watching which types of videos, and the consumption patterns during those day parts so we can enhance the viewing experience with the right features for different groups of users during specific periods of the day.

    Jon Goldman

  2. I’m more interested in the volume of video consumed than the number of streams.

    During the day, we’d expect to see more “video snacking.” During “prime time” when users can commit to a longer stream, as the data shows, we’re seeing more consumption of longer form content (Hulu,, etc).

    Has anyone released the number of minutes of video consumed by day part? I bet we’d find our “online prime time” then.

  3. Actually, I wouldn’t call it “Prime Time” – it just looks like people are watching videos about the same in the daytime, you know, when most of the planet is awake. ;)

    Just saying that there really isn’t a stick-out spike in numbers for any give slot of daylight.

    The vertical data and news-site numbers are really interesting, though. Thanks for the update!